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February 6, 2014

Maintaining Ethics in the Move From Regulator to Regulated

Sheila Bair took a banking job last week — an occasion for breaking out the axes and giving them a good grinding.

“Ms. Bair, who served under Presidents Bush and Obama as the head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, will be a director of the Spanish banking giant Santander. Because Ms. Bair has been a persistent critic of the major banks and had spoken out on the perils of the revolving door, the move prompted a bit of outrage in the financial world

“Just as Ms. Bair was taking her new job, Mary L. Schapiro, the former chairwoman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, was giving one up. Nine months ago, Ms. Schapiro took a managing director job with the financial services consulting firm Promontory. She has decided to leave that position (although she is staying on the firm’s advisory board).

“Post-regulatory life is perilous, especially if you try to have standards. Both Ms. Bair and Ms. Schapiro grappled with the issues raised by moving from regulator to regulated. Each created a set of personal principles to avoid conflicts, ones that are much stronger than the current law.”

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Read full NY Times article here

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